Thursday 8 April 2021

One of My Favourite Verses of Qur'an: So remember Me and I shall remember you

Remembering Allah is the essence of Islam. However to my reckoning it is far different form the zikr of Sufi Islam wherein believers sit in seclusion and repeat names of Allah repeatedly. In fact remembering Allah in the real life when one is to carry out daily chores is more important that cutting off from the world and then doing so. And remembering Allah means whatever we do, we must remember that we do not do anything that displeases Allah - if we just keep this in mind, the entire canvas of our life would change. 

This is what is the central idea of the verse selected from Qur'an today. In fact this is one of my favourite verses, which is simple, short but carrying a far greater message for the believers. Just ponder over it with a deep thought and it would reveal its deep meaning instantly:

فَاذۡكُرُوۡنِىۡٓ اَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ وَاشۡکُرُوۡا لِىۡ وَلَا تَكۡفُرُوۡنِ‏ 
So remember Me and I shall remember you; give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me for My favours. (Surah 2 Al Baqarah:152) 
Let us now see how different scholars of varying time periods have tried to unfold its meaning and implications for our real life:

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented about Allah's statement: (فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ Therefore remember Me. I will remember you), "Remember Me regarding what I have commanded you and I will remember you regarding what I have compelled Myself to do for your benefit (i.e., His rewards and forgiveness).''

An authentic Hadith states: (Allah the Exalted said, `Whoever mentions Me to himself, then I will mention him to Myself; and whoever mentions Me in a gathering, I will mention him in a better gathering.)'

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas narrated that Allah's Messenger said: 
(Allah the Exalted said, `O son of Adam! If you mention Me to yourself, I will mention you to Myself. If you mention Me in a gathering, I will mention you in a gathering of the angels (or said in a better gathering). If you draw closer to Me by a hand span, I will draw closer to you by forearm's length. If you draw closer to Me by a forearm's length, I will draw closer to you by an arm's length. And if you come to Me walking, I will come to you running).
Its chain is Sahih, it was recorded by Al-Bukhari. 

Then Allah said: (... وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.) - In this Ayah, Allah commands that He be thanked and appreciated, and promises even more rewards for thanking Him. 

Allah said in another Ayah: (And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: "If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e., disbelievers), verily, My punishment is indeed severe.)

Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said: `Imran bin Husayn came by us once wearing a nice silken garment that we never saw him wear before or afterwards.  He said, "Allah's Messenger said: (Those whom Allah has favored with a bounty, then Allah likes to see the effect of His bounty on His creation), or he said, "on His servant'' - according to Ruh (one of the narrators of the Hadith).
Yusuf Ali  Explanation
The word "remember" is too pale a word for zikr, which has now acquired a large number of associations in our religious literature, especially Sufi literature. In its verbal signification it implies: to remember; to praise by frequently mentioning; to rehearse; to celebrate or commemorate; to make much of; to cherish the memory of as a precious possession. In Sufi devotions zikr represents both a solemn ritual and a spiritual state of mind or heart, in which the devotee seeks to realise the presence of God. Thus there is zikr of the mind and zikr of the heart. For beginners the one may lead to the other, but in many cases the two may be simultaneous. There is a subtler distinction, between the zikr that is open, and the zikr that is secret, corresponding to the two doors of the heart, the fleshly and the spiritual. In English some account (very imperfect) of zikr will be found in Hughe's Dictionary of Islam, covering over 14 columns.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Remembrance is like a covenant. Remembrance of God and in return God’s remembrance of His creatures imply that Muslims should fulfill their duties and responsibilities and as its reward the Almighty will fulfill His promise of granting them success in this world and in the Hereafter.

The implication is that Muslims must truly fulfill their obligations of the rights imposed upon them by being granted the leadership of mankind for which they were bestowed with the shari‘ah – a favour of the Almighty.

What is implied is that Muslims should not be ungrateful to God regarding this favour the way the Jews were. Such an attitude would deprive them of this favour just as it deprived the Jews. The law of the Almighty is the same for all and no one will be spared from its application.

Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs:
(Therefore remember Me) through the performance of acts of obedience, (I will remember you) by granting you Paradise; and it is also said that this means: remember Me in time of ease, I will remember you in times of hardship. (Give thanks to Me) for the blessings I bestowed upon you, (and reject not Me) do not stop giving thanks for these blessings.

Jalal - Al-Jalalayn:
So remember Me, through prayer, glorification and the like, I will remember you: this is said to mean, ‘I will reward you’; in a hadīth about God [that He says]: ‘whoever remembers Me in himself, I will remember him in Myself, and whoever remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in an Assembly more excellent than his’; and be thankful to Me, for My grace, by being obedient, and be not ungrateful towards Me, through disobedience.

Kashani - Kashani:
So remember Me, by responding [to the call], through obedience and out of [a positive] will, and I will remember you, by granting you more and successive wayfaring and the effusion [from Me] of the light of certainty, and be thankful to Me, for the grace of sending a Messenger and guidance by wayfaring along the path to Me out of love, and I will increase you in gnosis from Me and love of Me, and be not ungrateful towards Me, by being indifferent and veiling yourselves by the grace of religion from the Grace-giver, as this is ingratitude, nay, disbelief [itself].

You may now like to listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the above said verse:

May Allah help us remember Him so that He remembers us and help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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